- 1 The Best Day Trips from Williamsburg, VA
- 2 Great Day Trips from Williamsburg Outside of Virginia
- 3 Day Trips from Williamsburg, VA: FAQs
- 4 Top Day Trips from Williamsburg: Wrap-Up
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Are you looking for the best day trips from Williamsburg, VA?
Williamsburg is filled with endless opportunities to learn more about America’s colonial history without leaving town.
You can visit Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum with historic buildings and interactive exhibits where you can watch authentic colonial life.
Walk around the College of William & Mary campus, one of the oldest colleges in the United States.
Spend a few hours playing at the city’s amusement parks, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Water Country USA, the state’s largest water park.
However, even though this town has so much to offer, there are so many cool towns to discover and explore within just a short drive of Williamsburg.
The Best Day Trips from Williamsburg, VA
1. Jamestown, Virginia
One of the best day trips from Williamsburg is heading over to Jamestown. Along with Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown, these three sites make up the Historic Triangle of Virginia.
This is a popular place to visit for history buffs and those looking to learn more about America’s colonial roots.
As the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America, Historic Jamestowne offers a glimpse into the past and the struggles of the colonists who arrived in 1607. It’s where the first English settlement was built and is now home to various ancient artifacts, live reenactments, educational classes, and so much more.
Visitors can explore the ruins of James Fort and the Jamestown Church, see significant structures like the Ambler Mansion ruins and Governor Harvey House, and learn about the site’s history and preservation efforts at the Voorhees Archaearium.
The site also offers monuments, including the Tercentenary Monument, General Assembly Monument, and John Smith and Pocahontas statues.
And since it’s just a 15-minute drive from downtown, it’s an excellent addition to 5 days in Williamsburg itinerary!
Distance: 15 minutes
2. Yorktown, Virginia
Just a 20-minute drive east of Williamsburg, Yorktown makes up the third point of the Historic Triangle of Virginia and is a great place for a day trip for those interested in the American Revolution.
Yorktown was the location of the final battle of the Revolutionary War, which led to the surrender of the British army.
The town also offers charming colonial-era architecture, including nine pre-Revolutionary buildings, shops, and restaurants in the Riverwalk section along the waterfront.
This is a great place for those who enjoy learning about history and those looking to gain some knowledge and insight into the American Revolution’s final battle!
Distance: 20 minutes
3. Newport News, Virginia
Newport News must be on your bucket list for those looking to escape Williamsburg and explore an area known for its outdoor recreational activities and countless parks.
Newport News is only 30 minutes away from Williamsburg and is a great place to visit on a day trip for those looking to stroll around parks, bike rides, or even go camping.
One of the most popular parks in the area is Newport News Park, and it’s a great place to spend several hours outdoors enjoying different activities.
Distance: 30 minutes
4. Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is Virginia’s capital and home to a vibrant art scene, countless museums, and several parks and botanical gardens. The city has great shopping and restaurants throughout.
For those looking to escape Williamsburg for the day and would like to experience a lively city, head to Richmond.
When visiting the area, check out the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. These gardens are whimsical, to say the least. This is a great place to take in the sights of countless plants, vibrant flowers blossoming, and butterflies roaming throughout.
Once you have finished up at the gardens, head over to one of the many popular museums in the area. There are countless to choose from, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Holocaust Museum, and the Science Museum of Virginia. This is an excellent way to spend some time in the Richmond area and expand your knowledge on your particular interest!
Distance: 50 minutes
5. Norfolk, Virginia
As one of the oldest cities in America, Norfolk offers visitors a glimpse into the colonial era and the city’s pivotal role in American history.
The city is home to the largest naval base in the world, as well as numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues, including the renowned Chrysler Museum of Art and the Norfolk Botanical Garden.
And it’s unique architecture, from Federal rowhouses to Art Deco buildings, provides a visual feast for architecture enthusiasts.
Visitors can enjoy the city’s parks and recreation areas, catch a game at Harbor Park or explore the city’s waterfront, where you can go boating, fishing, and beach lounging.
The city’s revitalized downtown area is filled with restaurants, bars, and shops, making it the perfect place to spend a day or evening.
Distance: 1 hour
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is another great beach area to check out within a short 1 hour and a-10-minute drive of Williamsburg!
Virginia Beach is an excellent place for a day trip. It has a fabulous boardwalk, great beaches, and delicious eating places.
We recommend heading to Virginia Beach for a laid-back day relaxing by the ocean! Once you are tired of soaking in the beach sun, head to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, where you can stroll down its 3-mile path.
When you are ready to grab a bite to eat, stop by Waterman’s Surfside Grille for their infamous orange crush drink and scrumptious crab cakes or she-crab soup!
Distance: 1 hour and 10 minutes
7. Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia, is just under 2 hours from Williamsburg and is a great place to visit for those looking for beautiful mountain views, incredible wineries and breweries nearby, awesome hikes close by, and the town is full of history.
One of the best activities to do in the Charlottesville area is to hike and take in the stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains.
Check out the Ragged Mountain Natural Area Trail for a moderate hike less than 7 miles long. This is a great trail for those looking to spend a few hours outside burning calories before heading to breweries or wineries for the day!
Be sure to pack your favorite energy bars for hiking to stay healthy and happy while on the trails.
If hiking isn’t your thing, check out Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello! Thomas Jefferson designed and built this charming property and lived there until he passed away. This is a great place to learn more about our 3rd President and marvel at his beautiful home.
Once you have finished your morning activity, head to one of the popular breweries or wineries in the area for delicious drinks and a memorable experience. We recommend checking out Starr Hill Brewery or Gabriele Rausse Winery!
Distance: 1 hour and 50 minutes
8. Winchester, Virginia
As the county seat of Frederick County, Winchester has played a pivotal role in American history, from its early European exploration and settlement to its involvement in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, and Civil War.
Visitors can explore the seven major battlefields in the original Frederick County and nearby areas, as well as other historical sites such as Fort Loudoun, built under the supervision of George Washington, Stonewall Jackson Headquarters Museum, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District.
Winchester also boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with the annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and National Skirmish competitions.
With its charming downtown area, museums, and historical sites, Winchester offers a unique and educational day trip for visitors to Williamsburg.
You can check out my list of activities in Winchester to learn more.
Distance: 3 hours
Great Day Trips from Williamsburg Outside of Virginia
9. Georgetown, D.C.
Another of the best day trips from Williamsburg, VA, is to Georgetown in Washington D.C. This area is extremely popular because it is home to Georgetown University, one of the oldest Catholic colleges in the United States.
Besides its famous college, Georgetown is popular for its awesome shopping, restaurants, and lively nightlife.
For those looking to get out and explore the area, stop by Clyde’s of Georgetown for unforgettable cocktails and delicious American bites.
Distance: 2 hours and 30 minutes
10. Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland, is another great day trip from Williamsburg. This town is known for its coastal views, home to the United States Naval Academy, its colonial architecture, and terrific seafood.
For those visiting the area for the first time, head to The Colonial Annapolis Historic District, where you can take in the charming colonial architecture and learn more about this town’s history and roots.
Once you have finished learning about colonial America and the city of Annapolis, head to one of the most popular restaurants in the area, the Boatyard Bar & Grill. This is a great place to grab delicious seafood and sip cold drinks!
Distance: 3 hours and 5 minutes
11. Raleigh, North Carolina
For those looking to head on a day trip out of state and would like to explore a city in North Carolina, you must check out Raleigh.
Raleigh is known for its awesome museums, fantastic bars and restaurants, many places to shop, and for being the state capital of North Carolina.
If you are interested in museums, check out the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences or the North Carolina Museum of Art. Both of these are great places to spend a few hours learning about various subjects and exploring exhibits that enthrall you.
For those interested in eating and drinking your way through the city, check out some of Raleigh’s most popular establishments, such as the Morgan Street Food Hall, Beasley’s Chicken, and Honey, or the Raleigh Beer Garden!
If you would like to stay in the Raleigh area for a bit longer to explore all the city offers, stay at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel for its incredible aesthetic and amenities.
Distance: 3 hours and 5 minutes
12. Baltimore, Maryland
One of the furthest day trips from Williamsburg destinations is Baltimore, Maryland. This city has a handful of professional sports teams, delicious food, and many incredible landmarks and attractions.
For sports lovers, the city of Baltimore is home to the Baltimore Ravens football team and the Orioles baseball team. This is a great place to catch a live game and cheer on Baltimore teams with the locals.
Stop by the National Aquarium or the Baltimore Museum of Art if sporting events aren’t your thing. Both of these attractions are very popular amongst visitors and locals alike. They are great places to visit for those looking for a fun and unique experience.
After you have hit a sporting event or gone to one of Baltimore’s top attractions, head to G&M Restaurant for crab cakes that will blow your mind.
If you would rather stay in Baltimore longer than just a quick day trip, check out the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront for a great place to stay right by the water!
Distance: 3 hours and 30 minutes
13. Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City is northeast of Williamsburg and is a great place to visit for those looking for a lively beach town! Ocean City is known for its awesome boardwalk, incredible beaches, and fantastic surf fishing.
For those looking to reel in some incredible fish, head over to Homer Gudelsky Park for one of the best places to surf fish in the area, and be sure to bring along your favorite surf fishing rod and go-to saltwater tackle box so you are prepared to have the best experience possible!
Once you have finished fishing for the day, head to Fager’s Island restaurant for terrific ocean views, delicious seafood and American cuisine, and tasty drinks!
If you love the Ocean City area and want to stay for a night or two, consider staying at the Hilton Suites Ocean City Oceanfront. This beautiful place to stay right by the beach has great amenities!
Distance: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Day Trips from Williamsburg, VA: FAQs
How many days should you spend in Williamsburg?
I recommend spending a minimum of 2-3 days in Williamsburg to experience all the town offers. However, the longer you can spend, the better you can experience some of the best day trips from Williamsburg and some of the theme parks nearby!
What is close to Williamsburg, VA?
Countless places are close to Williamsburg, including the Historic Jamestown settlement, Yorktown, Newport News, and many other great destinations.
How far apart are Williamsburg and Jamestown?
Jamestown is only 15 minutes from Williamsburg, making visiting the area a great day trip!
Top Day Trips from Williamsburg: Wrap-Up
As you can see, Williamsburg, Virginia, is a great starting point for exploring the surrounding areas.
From the beautiful beaches of Virginia Beach to the charming town of Norfolk, whether you are interested in history, nature, or just a change of scenery, there are plenty of day trip options all around Virginia and beyond.
What is your favorite day trip from Williamsburg, VA?
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